Optical sensor with beads
Device for use in chemical test procedures
Means for measuring a characteristic in a sample fluid
Method of photometric in vitro determination of a blood gas parameter in a blood sample
Method of photometric in vitro determination of the content of oxygen in a blood sample
Apparatus for determining the solid contents of a slug by induction heating
Micro optical fiber light source and sensor and method of fabrication thereof
Sensor cartridges Patent #: 6123820
ApplicationNo. 12081998 filed on 04/24/2008
US Classes:436/68BLOOD GAS (E.G., OXYGEN, CARBON DIOXIDE, BLOOD, PH, ETC.) , 422/400
ExaminersPrimary: Gakh, Yelena G
Assistant: Adams, Michelle
Attorney, Agent or Firm
Foreign Patent References
International ClassG01N 33/50
DescriptionBACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a sensor board comprising a plate-like body comprising a body material and having two surfaces substantially parallel to each other, and at least one optical sensor and at least one non-optical sensor, where the sensorsare positioned at the same surface of the body,
In this context the term sensor board denotes a board of solid material carrying two or more sensors on at least one surface of the board.
Optical sensors are widely used in analytical devices for analyzing samples within several technical fields, e.g. for assessing the quality of food and drinking products or industrial products.
Optical in vitro determination of parameters in a blood sample is normally performed by means of blood gas analyzers as, e.g. the blood gas analyzers produced and sold by Radiometer Medical ApS, Copenhagen, Denmark, under the name ABL800 FLEX. In these analyzers the optical sensors are normally installed as self-contained photometric units and require space and, furthermore, make the analyzing path longer, which again may require larger samples.
Due to the tendency of minimizing the amount of blood required for measurements, which is particularly true for critically ill patients for which many subsequent samples may be required and neonates for which the available amount of blood ishighly limited, it is desired to minimize the analyzing path e.g. by providing as many sensors for analyzing different parameters in as little volume as possible.
Also in other applications the requirement for minimal sample volume may be relevant, e.g. when specimen from where the sample is derived is sparse or expensive. Consequently, it would be a significant advantage if optical sensors could becombined with other sensors on a sensor board.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The object of the present invention is to provide a sensor board including at least an optical sensor, which sensor board may carry all the sensors necessary for a desired analysis and at the same time is very compact.
The present invention also provides a sensor board, which makes it possible to minimize the analyzing path and obtain reliable results on a minor amount of sample. Moreover, the sensor board according to the invention does not require a sealingaround the area where the optical sensor is located, which simplify the manufacturing process, and significantly reduces the risk of leakage.
The optical sensor board according to the invention comprises at least one integrated optical sensor and by integrating optical sensors the space required for sensors may be reduced.
Thus, in the sensor board according to the invention the body includes a first area having a thickness D1 of the body material and a second area having a thickness D2 of the body material, where D1>D2>0, the at leastone optical sensor being positioned at the second area.
The thickness D2 of the second area is a thickness that is reduced compared with the thickness D1 of the first area. However, the thickness D2 of the second area is a thickness that provides for a sufficient strength of thesecond area, e.g. in respect of carrying sensors or other material. Preferably the second area only constitutes a minor part of the sensor board and preferably the second area is placed away from the edges of the sensor board. This will ensure that thesensor board as such maintains a sufficient strength in use.
That the sensor board is plate-like means that the sensor board has the shape as a thin plate or sheet and preferably a substantially rectangular shape.
The invention is based on the unexpected finding that it is possible to make an opaque sensor board translucent in at least a limited area by reducing the thickness of the sensor board in that area to a thickness D2 which is smaller thanthe general all over thickness D1. Hitherto it has been presumed that reducing the thickness to a degree that makes a sensor board translucent would adversely affect the strength of the sensor board.
Contrary to the above-mentioned presumption it has now appeared that is it possible to reduce the thickness of a sensor board in at least a limited area to a thickness D2, where D1>D2>0, while substantially maintaining thestrength of the sensor board.
The thickness of the sensor board is reduced to a thickness D2 in the second area and to a degree that makes the sensor board sufficiently translucent for electromagnetic radiation at a desired wavelength in that area.
The bottom part in the second area, i.e. the remaining material, may be considered as forming a translucent area for an optical sensor system. To form a translucent area in this way provides the advantage that packing around the translucentarea is superfluous as there is no passageway that needs to be packed. Thereby the risk of leakage and contamination is significant reduced.
Preferably, the optical sensor communicates with an optical sensor system positioned at the second area.
Preferably the optical sensor system comprises an emitter for emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The emitted electromagnetic radiation may be detected directly or indirectly by a detector in the optical sensor system. Moreover, thedetector may detect reflected electromagnetic radiation or a change in the electromagnetic radiation. The electromagnetic radiation may in principle be any electromagnetic radiation with any wave length, such as ultraviolet light, infrared light,visible light, x-rays etc.
Of course the sensor board may comprise more than one second area with thickness D2 for optical sensors if desired. In principal the number may be unlimited, in practical the number will be limited to from one to about twelve or two,three, four, five, six, seven or eight areas with the thickness D2. The areas with thickness D2 may be produced by conventional means, such as cutting, grinding, drilling or by laser or sonic treatment, optionally with a final polishing of thebottom part. The sensor board may also be produced by adhering different layers together in a laminated structure, e.g. a first thin translucent layer laminated to a thicker second layer with a through going hole. The second area with thickness D2will then be formed by the first thin layer at the position of the through going hole in the second layer.
The second area with thickness D2 suitably has a circular cross-section, however, other cross-sections like oval, square, rectangular etc. may also be suitable.
It may also be envisaged that in alternative embodiments the sensor board may comprise areas with thickness D3, where D1<D3<0, and D3 is different from D2. Several such areas with different thicknesses D4,D5, D6 etc. may be considered. Such embodiments may e.g. be useful when using different optical sensors that each requires a different thickness D3, D4 etc. of the board.
Preferably, the sensor board comprises a plurality of non-optical sensors arranged on the first surface of the sensor board. The plurality of non-optical sensors may comprise one, two, three, four, five, six, seven or a further plurality ofnon-optical sensors on the same surface. The term non-optical sensor as used herein is any kind of sensor that may be used to detect and measure the amount of a desired parameter using non-optical measures. A non-optical sensor normally comprises oneor more electrodes in a capsule closed by one or more membranes. The non-optical sensors arranged on the same surface are preferably applied by thick film technique. Preferably the non-optical sensors are selected among potentiometric sensors andamperometric sensors.
By this configuration wherein non-optical and optical sensors are combined a very compact unit is achieved compared with traditional analyzers, where each sensor constitute a unit by it self. Thus, less space is required for the sensors andsmaller sample sizes are required.
To serve as a suitable substrate for thick film appliance it is preferred that the body material is heat-resistant, preferably heat resistant to a temperature above 200° C., more preferably above 400° C., even more preferablyabove 600° C. Suitably the body material is heat-resistant to a temperature above 800° C. or even above 1000° C.
Although the sensor board may be made from several materials, such as ceramic, glass, polymer, metal or combinations thereof it is preferred that the sensor board is made from a ceramic material. The ceramic material may be selected fromalumina, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, boron nitride, silicon nitride and similar materials or mixtures thereof. Such materials are known to have excellent strength and properties e.g. in respect of carrying electrical wiring etc. At present thepreferred ceramic material is alumina, which provides an excellent substrate for thick-film application.
The thickness D1 is normally in the range of 0.3 mm to 2.5 mm, preferably in the range of 0.5 mm to 1 mm.
To obtain satisfactory properties of the optical sensor on the sensor board according to the invention the thickness D2 is preferably less than about 0.5 mm. Further, to obtain even better properties it is preferred that the thicknessD2 is within the range of about 0.05 mm to about 0.5 mm.
Preferably the thickness D2 is sufficiently thin to inhibit a possible luminescence arising from the material of the sensor board from interfering with an optical measurement. This will reduce the sources of errors in the optical system.
In a preferred embodiment according to the invention the sensor board is coated with a layer of a luminophor at least partly overlapping the second area with thickness D2. Preferably, the luminophor has been dispensed directly onto thesensor board at the area with thickness D2.
In a preferred embodiment, the thickness D2 of the sensor board is sufficiently small to prevent or at least significantly reduce or inhibit a possible luminescence arising from the material of the sensor board from interfering with ameasurement of luminescence arising from the luminophor. In this manner a further source of error in the measurement may be eliminated.
Preferably, the optical sensor system comprises a detector for detecting luminescence generated by the luminophor. The emitter for applying electric radiation may e.g. be a light emitting diode or bulb. The source preferably applies electricradiation with a wavelength in the range of about 519 nm. The means for detecting luminescence generated by the luminophor may e.g. suitable be an optical detector capable of detecting radiation within the wavelength e.g. about 672 nm generated by theluminophor. The luminophor material is preferably applied on the surface of the sensor board being in contact with the sample so that constituents in the sample may quench the excited luminophor material, which will shorten the lifetime of the excitedstate.
Furthermore, in a preferred embodiment of the sensor board, the thickness D2 is sufficiently thin to allow a significant part of a beam of electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength being adapted to excite the luminophor to pass thesensor board at the position of the thickness D2.
In a further preferred embodiment of the sensor board the optical sensor is intended for measuring oxygen and the luminophor preferably is of a kind having its luminescence quenched by oxygen. When the sensor board e.g. is intended formeasuring on physiological fluids like blood it is desirable among other parameters to determine the content of oxygen in the blood.
It has been known for some years to determine the content of molecular oxygen in a sample by using optical methods based on luminescence quenching. In general, these methods comprise measuring the luminescence intensity and/or the luminescencelifetime of a suitable luminophor, the luminophor being in contact with an oxygen-containing sample and being exposed to illumination. The basic feature of luminescence quenching is the deactivation of the luminescing excited electronic state of theluminophor taking place on collision with oxygen molecules. As the average number of luminophor molecules in the excited electronic state is reduced by the interaction with the oxygen molecules, the luminescence intensity and the excited state lifetimeof the luminophor are reduced. The magnitude of the reduction is connected with the number of oxygen molecules in contact with the luminophor through the Stern-Volmer equation M0/M=1+KSv[O2]
M0 and M of the above equation designate the luminescence intensity or the excited state lifetime of the luminophor in the absence and presence of oxygen, respectively. [O2] designates the concentrations of molecular oxygencorresponding to the M-value measured. KSv is the so-called Stern-Volmer constant. By using this equation and correlating it to samples of known oxygen content, it is possible to determine the oxygen content of a sample. Photometric determinationof the oxygen content in blood or other media by the so-called luminescence quenching is known from e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 5,242,835 to Jensen et al. which discloses a photometric analysis of oxygen by an in vitro method for determination of oxygen indiscrete samples and based on simple sample handling principles. U.S. Pat. No. 5,242,835 is hereby incorporated by reference.
The optical sensor is adapted to be positioned with the luminophor layer in fluid contact with a fluid sample in order to detect a partial pressure of a constituent present in the fluid sample. Thus, it is preferred that the luminophor layer isa part of the analyzing pathway in contact with the sample to be analyzed.
In determination of the oxygen concentration it is desired that a preferred material for the luminophor layer comprises a palladium-porphyrin, e.g. palladium(II)-tetraphenylporphyrin (PdTPP) or palladium(II)-(pentafluorohenyl)-porphyrin(PdTFPP).
Consequently, in a preferred embodiment the optical sensor is adapted for measuring the content of oxygen in a sample.
Preferably, an emitter for emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength being adapted to excite the luminophor is adapted on the surface of the sensor board not carrying sensors in the second area with thickness D2. Inthis embodiment, the emitter and the detector are adapted at the same surface of the sensor board, thus facilitating the connection of the board with the optical sensors.
Alternatively, two opposing sensor boards may be arranged with the first surfaces facing each other and the second areas with thickness D2 facing each other in such a way that an electromagnetic beam may pass through the areas withthickness D2 on both sensor boards.
In such a configuration the sensor boards are capable of functioning as an optical measuring cell that also includes one or more electrochemical sensors. In the embodiment one or both of the sensor boards may carry one or more electrochemicalsensors. In this manner one or more optical sensors and one or more electrochemical sensors may be present in a diminutive volume and, consequently, smaller samples may be measured by the optical sensor system.
The invention also relates to use of a sensor board, wherein the at least one optical sensor interacts with an optical detector system.
The sensor board is useful for measuring a partial oxygen pressure in a fluid sample. In particular use of the optical sensor board for measuring partial oxygen pressure in a blood sample is advantageously. Consequently, the optical sensorboard is suitable for use in photometric in vitro determination of the content of oxygen in a blood sample.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will now be explained in further details with reference to drawings in which:
FIG. 1 shows a sensor board according to the invention,
FIG. 2 shows a sensor board according to the invention,
FIG. 3 shows a cut through an optical sensor system applied with a sensor board according to the invention,
FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the optical sensor system, and
FIG. 5 shows a further alternative embodiment of the optical sensor system.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In FIG. 1 is seen a depiction of a sensor board 1 for use according to the invention. The sensor board 1 has a surface 6 (facing downwards and not visible in the figure) and a surface 3. The two surfaces 6 and 3 are substantially parallel andthe distance between them defines an overall thickness D1 denoted 5 of the sensor board 1. In the surface 3 the sensor board 1 has a recess 2 which is limited downwards by the bottom part 4. The thickness of the bottom part 4, which is the resultof a reduction of the overall thickness D1 of the sensor board at the location of the recess 2, is reduced to a thickness D2 that makes the bottom part 4 sufficiently transparent to an electromagnetic beam.
FIG. 2 shows the sensor board 1 seen towards the surface 6. The area of the sensor board 1 with thickness D2 is coated with a layer of luminophor 8. Five electrochemical sensor elements 7 are indicated on the first surface 6 of the sensorboard 1.
The sensor board depicted in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. is made from ceramic aluminum oxide which provides good strength. The sensor board has the dimensions: length approx 4.3 mm, width approx. 8 mm, thickness D1 approx 0.8 mm. The thicknessD2 is approx. 0.1 mm. The diameter of the recess 2 constituting the part of the sensor board 1 with reduced thickness D2 is approx. 2.8 mm. The recess 2 has been formed by drilling in the sensor board 1 from the second surface 3 towards thefirst surface 6 with a diamond drill. The sensor elements 7 are applied by thick film technique.
FIG. 3 displays a cut through an optical sensor system with the sensor board 1 with recess 2 in the surface 3 and bottom part 4 in the recess 2. In the area of the bottom part 4 on the surface 6 is applied a layer of luminophor 8. Above thebottom part 4 is indicated a source for electromagnetic radiation 9 beside a detector 10 for detecting luminescence from the luminophor 8. The thickness D1 denoted 5 of the board is clearly shown. Moreover, the surface 6 of the sensor board 1comprises sensor elements 7 for the determination of desired parameters. The sensor elements 7 are applied by thick film technique. FIG. 3 also indicates an opposing board 13, which is part of a channel 14 constituting an analyzing path. The board 13also comprises sensor elements 17. The layer of luminophor 8 and the sensor elements 7 and 17 of the two boards 1 and 13 are in direct contact with a sample flowing in the channel 14.
FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the optical sensor system. The system comprises two opposing boards 1 and 1a according to the invention, both having a recess 2 and 2a with a bottom part 4 and 4a having reduced thickness D2 whencompared with the overall thickness D1 denoted 5 and 5a of the sensor boards 1 and 1a, respectively. Furthermore, the sensor board 1 on the second surface 6 is coated with a luminophor 8 covering the area 4 with thickness D2 and comprisessensor elements 7.
On the second surface 3 of the sensor board 1 is adapted an emitter 9 for electromagnetic radiation. On the second surface 3a of sensor board 1a is adapted a detector 10.
FIG. 5 shows a further embodiment of the optical sensor system similar to the embodiment of FIG. 4 and with reference numbers referring to the same parts of the optical sensor system. The optical sensor system of FIG. 4 distinguish from theoptical sensor system of FIG. 5 in that the areas with thickness D2 are not coated with a luminophor and the space 12 between the two sensor boards 1 and 1a functions as an optical measuring cell. Thus electromagnetic radiation emitted from emitter9 positioned at the second surface 3 of the board 1 is passed through the sample in the space 12 and the resulting radiation detected by the detector 10 positioned at the second surface 3a of the board 1a. Moreover, in this embodiment the sensor board1a comprises sensor elements 7a.
Of course the sensor board is part of an analyzing device that comprises many other parts, such as analyzing devices, pumps, and thermo elements etc., which are all well-known to the skilled person, who will also be familiar with how the sensorboard combines with the other parts. Furthermore, the skilled person would be able to point out further embodiments of the sensor board according to the invention and an optical sensor system communicating therewith.